Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Quote for the Week

Our company CEO dropped a book excerpt by my desk on Monday. It's from the book "Fierce Conversations" by Susan Scott. From the excerpt, it looks like a great read, but my disclaimer here is that I have not read the entire book, so proceed at your own risk.

One of the quotes from the book was immediately compelling to me, so much so that I cut it out and pasted it on my computer.

"The person who can most accurately describe reality without laying blame will emerge the leader."
There was more description around this point, but the power of the statement hits home without it. In my consulting world, we have a sunset review once a project phase has been completed. There is value to be gained from an analysis of what we did right, but the time and passion is always spent dissecting what went wrong, and the close cousin, who is to blame. The ability to recognize our mistakes and to learn from them is critical in any effort to improve a process, but our need to place the blame undermines trust and infuses a group of people who once acted as a team with a sense of isolation and a motive for CYA.

One of the reasons this was poignant to me is that I'm coming off a rather painful project completion, and I was challenged by the statement and realized that I wasn't exhibiting this critical characteristic of leadership, and yet by my project role and my own self-assessment I am a leader. My takeaway: Everything can be improved, even me!

No comments: